FCW: SBA faces fraud risks and IT security woes, IG says

“The Small Business Administration has been inundated with potentially fraudulent proposals for economic relief during the COVID-19 pandemic, at a time when increased workload throughout the agency deflected attention from IT security issues, the agency’s Inspector General Hannibal Ware testified Wednesday.

Economic relief programs associated with recovery efforts around the pandemic, including the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, were identified as one of the SBA’s top management challenges in the Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) recent semiannual report to Congress…”

“The SBA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) identified $84 billion in potentially fraudulent activity within loans disbursed through the EIDL program, whereas the Paycheck Protection Program saw just $4.6 billion in potentially fraudulent activity. SBA was directly responsible for overseeing the EIDL program, while private financial institutions played a key role in the disbursement of PPP funds.

Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO), ranking member of the House Small Business Committee, described the SBA as the ‘sole and only gatekeeper’ for the EIDL program and said the differences in its management in contrast to PPP ‘cannot be overstated.’…”

“The SBA’s total IT spending in fiscal year 2021 was $128.9 million, down from $140.9 million in 2020. The agency’s total IT investments for 2022 amount to $108.8 million, according to the federal IT dashboard. The agency is also one of just a few that have established working capital funds as authorized by the Modernizing Government Technology Act. In its congressional budget justification, the agency said it plans to use the to support modernization projects in 2022, including cloud-based solutions and enterprise data capabilities to improve overall management of its systems and services…” Read the full article here.

Source: SBA faces fraud risks and IT security woes, IG says – By Chris Riotta, January 13, 2022. FCW.

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